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19 September, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 1 — Malachi 1:1-2:9

Study 1  From the Book of Malachi is: Malachi 1:1-2:9

1.     1:1-5. The people of Judah, lolling upon their condition and circumstances, were depressed and murmuring against God. What proof did the prophet adduce to show that God did love them as a nation? Cf. Pss. 34:15, 16; 73:26-28.
2.     Of what particular sins were the priest guilty? With what will God punish them if the remain impenitent? What was the root of their failure?
3.     What, by contrast, do we learn should be the quality and objectives of our service as messengers of the Lord of host? Cf. 2:5-7, and cf. 2 Cor.6:3; 2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Pet. 4:10, 11.
1.     1:2-4. The Edomites were the descendants of Esau.
2.     1:5. ‘ Great is the Lord beyond the border of Israel’: the people had too small a conception of their God and this the prophet seeks to correct. Cf. verses 11, 14b
3.     1:8. Perfect, unblemished sacrifices were demanded (Lv. 1:3), and not the ‘rejects’ from the flock.

18 September, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 0 — The Introduction of the book of Malachi

Study 0 From the Book of Malachi is: The Introduction of the Book


Malachi (the name means ‘my messenger’---see 3:1) was doubtless a contemporary of Ezra and Nehemiah. He attacked the evils which arose at Jerusalem after the Temple was rebuilt and its services re-established, evil of which we have historical record in the book of Nehemiah.  ‘The religious spirit of Malachi is that of the prayers of is that of the prayers of Ezra and Nehemiah’. There is an ancient tradition which regarded ‘Malachi’ as a pen name, and assigned the authorship to Ezra himself.

This book is the more significant because it closes the Old Testament revelation. As a link between the law and the gospel, it combines severe insistence on the necessity of purity and sincerity of heart with the sure promise of the coming of a Deliverer to those who fear the Lord. Finally (4:4-6), it appeals back to the law and the prophets (of whom Elijah is the chosen representative). The fuller revelation will not contradict, its preparatory stages. The people are to find in the spiritual authorities they already know (i.e., in the Old Testament) their assurance for accepting Him who should come. So, on the Mount of Transfiguration, when the Father called men to hear the So, Moses and Elijah stood by to give their assent and to provide evidence that He was the fulfilment of all their anticipation. See Mt. 17:3-5; Jn. 5:46.

17 September, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 9 — Zechariah 14

Study 9 From the Book of Zechariah is: Zechariah 14

Tomorrow we will start the book of Malachi

Verses 1-5 appear to be a prediction of the fall of Jerusalem in Ad 70, together with a prediction of the Lord’s return. In the Gospel (e.g., Lk. 21:20-28) these two events are also described as if they were one. Then follows an account of the blessings that will ensue.
1.     Verses 1-5 describe the breaking in of the day of the Lord. Who will at that time be gathered against Jerusalem. What will happen to the city and its inhabitants? When and in what manner will the Lord appear.
2.     In the day of the Lord what further results will come to pass as regards (A) Jerusalem (verses 6-11; cf. Rev. 22:1-5; Jn. 4:13, 14); (b) those who attacked Jerusalem (verses 12-15); and (c) the remnant of the nations that have escaped (verses 16-19)?
3.     Picture the city as described in verses 20, 21. Are you aiming to see that your life is holy in every part? Cf. 2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Thes. 3:13; 1 Pet. 1:15, 16.

Note. Verses 20, 21. Every aspect of the city’s life will bear the mark of holiness—business life, religious life and domestic life. Verse 20b. The pots which were used for mundane purposes shall be as holy as the bowls which held the blood of sacrifice.

16 September, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 8 — Zechariah 12 and 13

Study 8 From the Book of Zechariah is: Zechariah 12 and 13

These chapters contain a prophecy of a combined attack of many peoples upon Jerusalem and of the deliverance God will give (12:1-9), together with the repentance and cleansing which will be wrought within the nation by their vision and recognition of Him whom they pierced (12:10-13:9). The ultimate fulfilment of this prophecy will take place at the end of the present age (cf. Rom. 11:25-27), but it has a present application spirituality to all who belong to Him.
  1. What is the secret of Jerusalem’s survival when threatened by so many enemies gathered together against it (12:1-9; cf. 14:3)? Has the Christian similar hope of overcoming the world, the flesh and the devil? Cf. Ps. 27:1 Jn. 4:4; 5:4.
  2. What four experiences of God’s people are set forth in 12:10-13:9? Do you know them in your experience? (a) With 12:10-14, cf. Jn. 16:8, 9; Acts 2:37-40. (b) With 13:7-9. 1 Pet. 1:5-7.
  1. 12:11. Hadadrimmon is thought to be a city in the plain of Megiddo (or Jezreel), where King Josiah was killed, the darkest and saddest event in Jewish history (cf. 2 Ch. 35:22-25).
  2. 12:12-14.  Both the intensity and the universality of Israel's repentance are here emphasized.
  3. 13:2-6. The prophets, having been proved false, shall be ashamed, and will seek to disguise the fact that they prophesied. The wounds (verse 6) are either wounds self-inflicted in their prophetic frenzy (cf. 1 Ki. 18:28), are either wounds self-inflicted in their probably wounds received by them though the attacks of people upon them (cf. verse 3c).

15 September, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 7 — Zechariah 11

Study 7 From the Book of Zechariah is: Zechariah 11

While plain in its main teaching, this chapter is obscure in many of its details. Its theme is grace and judgment. It opens with a vision of judgment sweeping over the land and making it desolate (verse 1-3). God shows to the prophet that the promises of the preceding chapter will not be realized without further uprisings of evil (cf. 10:2, 3a). In verses 4:17 the prophet is bidden to impersonate first a good shepherd, and when he was rejected and despised a worthless shepherd, under whom the flock will suffer many sorrow. The section is a vivid foreshadowing of the coming of Christ (verses 12, 13; cf. Mt. 26:14, 15; 27:9, 10).
  1. Verse 7. The good shepherd’s ‘two staffs’ (cf. ‘rod’ and ‘staff’ in Ps. 23:4) were named ‘Grace’ and ‘Union’, indicating that He came in grace to bind the flock into one. How far is this a picture of Christ? Cf. Jn. 1:14; 17:20-22.
  2. How is the lot of those who deliberately refuse the good described? Cf. Mt. 23:37, 38; 2 Thes. 2:8.
  1. Verses 7, 11. ‘Traffickers in the sheep’: ‘poor of the flock’ (AV) fits the context better.
  2. Verse 12. ‘Thirty shekels of silver’: the price of an injured slave (Ex. 21:32). Cf. Mt. 26:15; 27:9

14 September, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 6 — Zechariah 9 and 10

Study 6  From the Book of Zechariah is: Zechariah 9 and 10

  1. The opening verses (9:1-8) are a prophecy of an invasion of Syria, Phoenicia and the country of the Philistines. The prophecy was historically fulfilled in the conquests of Alexander the Great. Bur, to whom is the prophet’s eye directed? How does this account, on the one hand, for the fall of Tyre, notwithstanding its wisdom, strong defences and wealth, and, on the other, for the preservation of Jerusalem? Cf. 9:15a and 2:5.
  2. In 9-12 a picture is presented of Zion’s King, in which, as often in the Old Testament, His first and second advents are merged into one. What is said (a) of His character; (b) of the manner of His coming; (c) of the final extent of His rule; and (d) of the benefits He brings? Cf. Ps. 40:2-3; Joel 3:16b; Is. 61:7.
  3. The remaining portion (9:13-10:12) has for its theme what God will yet do for His people Israel. Make a list of the things here promised, and reflect how they are symbols of spiritual blessings which are ours in Christ.
  1. 9:1-6. Hadrach and Aram are probably Syrian town; Hamath, Tyre and Sidon are Syrian neighbours; Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron and Ashdod (verse 5, 6) are Philistine towns
  2. 9:7. A prophecy of the abolition of idolatrous sacrifices, and the incorporation of the remnant of the Philistines among God’s people. The Jebusites were the original inhabitants of Jerusalem.
  3. 9:8. When Alexander invaded these parts and swept through the coastal nations, nothing could stop his armies, but he was restrained from attacking Jerusalem.
  4. 9:13-17. A prophecy of victory for Israel, when the enemy shall be trodden down like sling-stones and Israel lifted up like the Jewels of a crown. In verse 15b is another figure, representing the Israelites as drinking the blood of their enemies, with which they will be as full as the bowls used in sacrifice, or like the corners of the altar that were drenched in blood.

13 September, 2017

Search The Scriptures —Study 5 — Zechariah 8

Study 5 From the Book of Zechariah is: Zechariah 8

  1. Enumerate the blessings which God here promises concerning Jerusalem, notice also the emphasis placed upon them by the number of times the phrase ‘says the Lord’ occurs. Is God less willing to fulfil to us the ‘precious and very great promises’ (2 Pet. 1:4)., which He has given us in Christ? Cf. Heb. 6:11-18
  2. What, however, are the conditions for obtaining the promises of God? In the light of the evidence we have of God’s willingness to give, where does the hindrance lie, if we are not enjoying in personal experience the things promised?
  3. What will ultimately happen to the fasts about which the deputation from Bethel had enquire in 7:2, 3?
  1. Verses 4, 5. ‘Old men…boys and girls playing…’ these indicate and illustrate the security and peace which is promised.
  2. Verse 10. Three evils are here spoken of from which the people suffered when God’s house was neglected, namely, scarcity, absence of security and disunion.